Aims – growth, survival …

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I made a strong case in a previous post that strategy research should have been asking how strong firms grow cash flows, not deliver profit ratios. I had two main push-backs – 1. is growth relevant in present conditions? – 2. survival is really all that matters. 

The first is easily dealt with – stronger cash flow ‘growth’ than rivals can of course imply less decline when everyone is going backwards .. would you rather cash-flows fell by ...

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How firms are coping

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Mixed news from a recent S+B survey of execs. 75% say they do not need extra financial support – as I suspected – though that may change of course.  More worrying is that most seem not to be taking the correct actions, given their specific situations.

The article by Shumeet Banerji CEO of Booz & Co and Neil McArthur MD of Booz Europe helpfully groups firms into 4 categories ...

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Good & bad downturn advice

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I have commented on some of the consultants’ and journals’ advice in earlier posts, so thought I would share what some senior execs think who I’ve been asking in recent events. Here’s just a few … 

I asked for two ratings – Useful [no, a little, very] – and Dangerous [no, a little, very] – and allowed people to respond with both if they felt a suggestion was both potentially useful, but also came with dangers. Following are the most common ...

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Chuck the consultants?

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Have come across a few examples of companies cancelling all consultancy projects in response to the downturn. Now while this may be unavoidable in real crisis cases, it’s not a universally good idea. It’s a common sport to bash consulting firms, but they clearly can serve valuable purposes. They have access to knowledge that few individual firms could justify building and genuinely know stuff from other cases that can be useful to you.

So … if there was a good purpose ...

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Decline and recovery by sector

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Experienced execs may have a good feel for how their particular industry may evolve during the downturn and recovery – e.g. consumer sectors tend to fall first, but recover earlier also. McKinsey have mapped the decline and recovery of different sectors in previous recessions, which might give useful pointers for what to look out for in your industry so your strategy can respond at the right time.

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